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Global Solutions Hub to drive sustainable tourism launches at MENA Climate Week

A new Global Solutions Hub to drive sustainable tourism around the world has been launched by the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Global Solutions Hub will provide the toolkits and best practice case studies to help accelerate the travel and tourism sector’s transition to net zero, while protecting nature.

Unveiled at MENA Climate Week in Riyadh, which is organised by UNFCCC and Ministry of Energy, the Global Solutions Hub intends to partner with 100 universities and relevant, international organisations by 2030 so as to produce much-needed tools and solutions that will drive the industry towards full sustainability.

These tools will help travelers and destinations, as well as substantial number of micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) which are at the heart of the travel and tourism sector but which often don’t have the resources to transition to net zero. A range of respected, academic institutions in the US, China, Asia, Latin America, Australasia and Europe are already working with STGC to deliver the vision of a more sustainable sector.

In 2019, the travel and tourism industry was responsible for 8.1% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Without concerted, collaborative action, emissions in travel and tourism are expected to rise by 20% by 2030.

H.E. Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, said: “Our Global Solutions Hub is committed to empowering small and medium-sized enterprises, destinations and travelers by providing them with valuable resources to make well-informed decisions.

Our goal is to function as the premier knowledge hub, offering indispensable tools and solutions for key stakeholders, enabled by the Sustainable Tourism Global Center and the Ministry of Tourism in Saudi Arabia. Through these efforts, our aim is to empower and support the travel and tourism sector to champion environmental solutions and foster prosperity.”

The Global Solutions Hub will also be exploring action areas including renewable energy, resource management, emissions reduction, as well as reducing food waste and other resources including water, while protecting nature and supporting local communities.

H.E. Gloria Guevara, Chief Special Advisor of the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, said: “If good solutions exist, we will use them; if solutions don’t exist, we will create them via the new Global Solutions Hub. It is designed to help stakeholders, who are the backbone of the travel and tourism industry, move at pace towards net zero. We are also delighted to be partnering with so many Universities and institutions, the best of the best, who will help us provide solutions for the generations to come.”

Today, during a ceremony at MENA Climate Week in Riyadh to mark the Hub’s launch, STGC received backing from several academics at global, high-profile academic institutions, including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Les Roches, IE Madrid and NYU. These academics work with the Global Solutions Hub to deliver key solutions which will be disseminated across multiple markets, empowering key players in the travel and tourism industry to follow more sustainable practices.

The Global Solutions Hub today made available three critical toolkits focused on the use of solar thermal heaters, emissions reductions through sustainable food choices, and the cost savings of solar panels as a starting point for this effort.

It plans to publish 25 toolkits in total over the next 36 months. STGC’s leadership is working with a number of partners to reach critical audiences in destination countries, including the International Chamber of Commerce, the UN Global Compact, the World Travel and Tourism Council, Skift, and many others.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Charles / Michael Johnson / Katie Kershaw / Zahida Wiffen /Jake Mellors
via Aviationpod@pc.agency or call +44 (0)20 7768 0001.

About Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism leads the Saudi Tourism ecosystem. The Ministry sets the Kingdom’s tourism sector strategy and is responsible for the development of policies and regulations, developing human capital, gathering statistics, and attracting investment.

It works in partnership with the Saudi Tourism Authority, which promotes Saudi Arabia as a global tourism destination, and the Tourism Development Fund, which executes the Ministry’s investment strategy by providing funding for the sector’s development.

Headed by His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, the Ministry was founded in February 2020, following the opening of Saudi Arabia to international leisure tourists for the first time in its history in 2019. Saudi Arabia aims to welcome 100 million tourists by 2030, increasing the sector’s direct contribution to GDP from 3.8% in 2019 to 10%.

About The Sustainable Tourism Global Center

The Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) is the world’s first multi-country, multi-stakeholder global coalition, incubated within the Ministry of Tourism of Saudia Arabia, that will lead, accelerate, and track the tourism industry’s transition to net-zero emissions, as well as drive action to protect nature and support communities.

It will enable the transition while delivering knowledge, tools, financing mechanisms and innovation stimulation into the tourism sector.

The STGC was announced by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during the Saudi Green Initiative in October 2021 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia then led a panel discussion during COP26 (November 2021) in Glasgow, United Kingdom, to elaborate on how the Center will deliver on its mandate with founding country representatives and experts from partner international organizations.